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University life can be an absolute blast, but let's not sugarcoat it—it can also be extremely challenging. Between juggling your finances, being far from home, and grappling with a whole new way of learning that demands some serious self-motivation, there's a lot on your plate. But fear not! In this guide, we're diving deep into the ins and outs of university life to help you navigate everything from acing your exams to taking care of your mental health.

We're talking about everything from understanding what makes your brain tick to where you can turn when you need a helping hand. Whether you're a fresh-faced newbie or a seasoned pro, this guide is packed with tips and tricks to help you stay mentally and emotionally strong throughout your university journey. So buckle up and get ready to thrive!

1. What is Mental Health?

Understanding mental health is a vital part of your journey through university. It's not just about feeling happy or sad; it's about your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, shaping every aspect of your life as a student. Recognising the importance of mental health in your overall university experience is crucial for your success and wellbeing. So, let's delve into what mental health really means and how it impacts your time at university.

Common Mental Health Difficulties

Uni isn't all nights out, house parties, and socialising. Students can often feel stressed, depressed, anxious, homesick, or just plain lonely. Knowing how to handle these things is key to staying well. So, it's smart to know what kind of mental health issues students often face. Mental Health UK says nearly half of uni students deal with serious mental health issues at some point. That's why it's important to know where to get help when you need it.

Recognising Warning Signs

It's crucial for you to know when your mental health might need a bit of extra TLC. If you're noticing changes in your mood, sleep, or how you're doing with your course, it could be a sign. Don't ignore it; reach out to your uni's support team or a mental health adviser. And make sure you keep an eye out for these signs in your friends, too!

2. Seeking Support for Your Mental Wellbeing

Where to Get More Support

When uni life starts feeling like a bit of a rollercoaster, it's good to know you've got options. Universities and students’ often provide mental health advisers and counselling services, all set up to help you through the tough times. You can always ask your personal tutor to point you in the right direction. We know how important it is to have access to the right level of support, which is why we launched our Personal Tutor Awards last year, arming students with the information they need to choose the right university. And remember, if you're feeling overwhelmed, there are charities like Student Minds there to support you too. Don't be shy about reaching out - help is closer than you think.

University Mental Health Advisers

Your university's mental health advisors are there to support you through the ups and downs of student life. With their confidential advice and assistance, they help students tackle academic stressors, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. They may also encourage you to seek further help from your GP, which is why it’s good to register with a local doctor whilst at university.



I have had an amazing experience at this uni so far. the support network and facilities are outstanding.

- Student review of Coventry University

University Support Services

Apart from mental health advisors, universities offer various support services like counselling sessions, support groups, and online resources. Take advantage of these resources to get the help you need and connect with peers facing similar challenges.


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3. Nurturing Your Mental Health in Student Life

Staying Connected

Building solid connections with peers and engaging in social activities are crucial for nurturing mental wellbeing. We encourage you to socialise, join clubs, and lean on friends and family for support to overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Good university with lots of facilities, clubs and activities to support student's mental and physical well-being.

- Student review of University of Sunderland


Balancing Student Life and Mental Health

Finding a balance between uni demands and your mental wellbeing is key. Make sure to prioritise self-care, set boundaries, and tackle stress head-on to keep your mental health in check while staying on top of your studies.

4. Accessing Mental Health Resources and Helplines

Online Mental Health Support

Accessing mental health support online is easier than ever. Many universities offer self-help tools, virtual counselling, and online forums for students to manage their mental wellbeing at their own pace and convenience.

Face-to-Face Counselling Services

Universities offer face-to-face counselling sessions tailored to students' needs. These confidential meetings provide a safe space to discuss thoughts and feelings, learn coping skills, and make positive changes toward better mental health.

Support Groups and Online Communities

Engaging in support groups and online communities can offer students a sense of belonging and connection. These platforms provide opportunities for peer support, shared experiences, and access to valuable resources and information about mental health. Student Minds offer a small number of local support groups, and Nightline is a confidential service run by students, for students. You can also ask your student union for more details, as most have valuable networks and connections to help support students’ mental health.

5. Strategies for Daily Mental Health Maintenance

Taking Care of Yourself

Making time for self-care is crucial for maintaining mental wellbeing. Whether it's getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, or doing activities that make you happy, prioritising self-care can help reduce stress and improve overall happiness.

Staying Active

Getting regular exercise isn't just good for your body—it's also great for your mental health. Exercise can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and boost your mood. Finding ways to stay active, whether it's going for a walk, hitting the gym (might even be able to snag a student discount!), or joining a sports team (check out BUCS for some inspo!), can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

Dealing with Stress

University life can be overwhelming at times, but there are ways to cope with stress. Learning techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and time management can help you navigate academic pressures and personal challenges more effectively, promoting better mental health overall. Whilst exams can be the most stress-inducing part of university, there are tons of free resources to help you cope with anxiety and stress, including our guide on how to survive exams.

Wrapping Up

As we finish up, it's essential to remember the importance of looking after your mental health throughout your university journey. Understanding mental health, reaching out for support when you need it, and practising self-care are all key to thriving during your time at university. Remember, you're not alone in facing mental health challenges, and there are resources available to help you. Take care of yourself, ask for help when you need it, and make your mental health a priority every step of the way.

Our aim is to ensure that every new student applying to university has all the information they need to be confident in their choices. This is why we urge current students and graduates to leave a review of their university, accommodation, or location. Can you spare a couple of minutes to leave a review about your experience, to help future students?

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